In light of its title, Japandroids' new Celebration Rock bookends its eight tracks with the perfect sound effect: the pop of fireworks. The second album from the Vancouver duo is a legit contender for record of the year based on its irony-free sense of jubilation and the pervasive feeling that these guys are going all-in with this adrenaline rush. Japandroids have enough ties to the indie rock sphere that this album is out on Polyvinyl, and Pitchfork keeps a close eye on 'em, but Celebration Rock is truly the 2012 progeny of feel-great-even-when-things-suck pop-punk bands such as Crimpshrine and Operation Ivy. Celebration's muddy, cranked-up production only enhances its songwriting's skittish sparkle, constantly reminding you that these tracks will make for A-grade singalongs. Plus, this record includes a ferocious cover of The Gun Club's “For the Love of Ivy,” so let's award Japandroids a couple of bonus points for having great taste and making good on it.
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